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Tai Chi Diary

[From my 2008 archives] Saw the doctor last week. He did a lot of tests and said I am a “fall risk.” Suggested Tai Chi, said it would help with balance. Tried to do research but apparently there’s never been a decent Tai Chi movie in the history of the world. Jackie Chan’s Drunken Master was recommended. Hmmm.

Wore my new Tai Chi outfit to first class at the Y. Most class members seem to be wearing very old clothes and no shoes. Maybe underprivileged group? Didn’t see donation cup.

Members of Empty Step Tai Chi practice at Point Defiance Park. The nice thing about Tai Chi is that you can take it anywhere.

Teacher says we do Yang Family Style Tai Chi. It’s a martial art but directed toward personal health and well being rather than self defense. Lots of arm waving and sudden turns. Talked about Beautiful Lady’s Hands. Note to self: get hand lotion.

I can’t remember all this stuff. I’d get a much better workout in Zoomba. Classmates very friendly. Said everyone started the same way. Doubt it.

4th Day in Tai Chi Class

Teacher talks a lot about Chen Man Chi’ng. Lived in China, then Taiwan, then United States. Moved a lot. This is what we learn from Tai Chi. Important to keep moving.

Not quite so scary or confusing today. Seems like the same things keep happening – there’s sort of a rhythm to it.

Teacher says we should practice rooting –

“Yaaay, Tai Chi,” something like that, I guess. Relaxing is very important. Took off my shoes today. Hole in sock. Big toe came through. Not easy to relax nude big toe.

6th Month in TaiChi Class

I think I’m starting to remember the form. Not scared any more and only normally confused. Feel like the Yang Family are neighbors right down the street. If I take them a welcoming hot dish, they’ll teach me their short form. Only turned the wrong way three times.

More relaxed and rooted.

Checked with doctor.

Blood pressure is Definitely lower.

Lots more energy

Another class member says she’s decided to give it a year. I’ll do that too.

New member in class. Seemed confused. Told her not to worry, she’ll catch on.

I don’t think she believed me.

Note from Dorothy: As you can tell from my diary, Tai Chi grows on you. If you wonder whether Tai Chi is for you, why not give it a try? There’s no other activity so likely to improve blood pressure, balance and relaxation. It doesn’t take the place of other exercise, but if you combine Tai Chi three times a week with a brisk mile’s walk the other three days (You get to take one day off.) You’ll notice a difference.

Many of our members are still very active, even in their 80’s. For myself, I will be 86 in four months, and I’m lucky to still be employed full time at work I love. I know I couldn’t have done it without using Tai Chi for the center of my fitness plan.

But see for yourself. Come join us for the Fourth Annual Tai Chi at the Washington State Fair Grounds on Friday, September 20. Sample the delicious, easy dishes our Empty Step folks whip up, and enjoy Sunny music by composer/singer John Reed and jazz singer Cara Francis whose new album, Goodnight, Starlight Motel, will be released in the spring.

We’ll all be there in the Home Arts Pavilion. You’ll see and be encouraged but not forced to join in basic Tai Chi, Qi Gong, Sword Form.

September 20, Home Arts Pavilion – 10:30 to 12:30. First six guests to arrive and say hello to me or one of the Empty Step members will receive a prize of great sentimental value. See you there.

Information: Dorothy@itsnevertoolate.com, 253-582-4565

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